Monday 9 December 2019

Ad Lib: Flahavan's puts comic through mill

Comic Steve Bennett stars in Flahavan’s ‘Not Your Run of the Mill Oats’ TV ad
Comic Steve Bennett stars in Flahavan’s ‘Not Your Run of the Mill Oats’ TV ad
Just Eat marketing director Edel Kinane has tipped vegan to be this year’s food trend. Photo: Maxwells Dublin

Michael Cullen

During the 1970s 'Porridge' got lots of laughs. That's because it was the title of a popular BBC sitcom starring Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale. Now Ireland's best-known porridge oats brand, Flahavan's turns to comedy with a new ad campaign. Comic Steve Bennett fronts the first-ever TV commercial to be shot at Flahavan's mill in Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford.

Entitled 'Not Your Run of the Mill Oats', the ad is delivered tongue-in-cheek to show what's different about Flahavan's milling through seven generations of the family-owned business dating back to 1785. The construction of the current mill was completed in 1959.

The ad opens with two men on a cycle path. The camera slowly pulls back to reveal a panoramic shot of the country's longest greenway, the Waterford Greenway, as it crosses the viaduct at Kilmacthomas, right beside the mill.

Bennett plays a feisty tour guide who escorts a small group of visitors and talks them through the stages of the oat-milling process. As a result of some distractions and unforeseen events, the secrets to producing Flahavan's porridge oats aren't properly communicated.

As well as the 40-second TV ad, there's a 10-second teaser, radio and outdoor ads. The campaign was created by BBDO Dublin, with Red Rage hired to roll out the TV ads. Flahavan's sales and marketing director John Noonan says the new ads allow them to show off the mill where the porridge oats are produced for the first time.

"Thanks to the Waterford Greenway, which opened in 2016, anyone who cycles around Kilmacthomas will be familiar with the mill, which can be clearly seen from the greenway," Noonan said. "The new TV ad provides a chance for people to look behind the scenes at the mill. Flahavan's porridge oats accounts for two million servings in Ireland each week and the brand is marketed in 17 countries worldwide."

As well as traditional porridges, the Flahavan's range includes Super Oats for children, flapjacks, muesli and granolas. For his work in extending the brand, Noonan was voted Marketer of the Year in 2009. Resident MC at the Róisín Dubh Comedy Club, Bennett's sharp tongue gets crowds on side. He won 'Show Me the Funny' and best newcomer at the UK Musical Comedy Awards in 2014.

Staying with food, it appears vegan will be all the rage again when ordering home deliveries online this year. Just Eat reports that vegan will be the food trend of 2018 largely thanks to consumer seeking out image-conscious and healthy foods.

Last year saw a tenfold increase in demand for vegetarian options. One in three of Just Eat's 2,100 takeaway restaurants online now provide vegetarian and vegan choices on their menus. Just Eat marketing director Edel Kinane says outlets like Bombay Pantry have even launched their own vegan menu, an indication that there's more to Indian food than just chicken tikka masala.

Demand for healthy choices generally grew by 94pc last year and gluten-free options were up by 72pc. The most popular days of the year for ordering takeaways online are New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, back to school and summer festivals like Electric Picnic - 80pc of orders are made using either the Just Eat app or mobile.

Just under one in seven Irish holiday-goers have arrived at an airport only to realise they forgot their passport.

A study of 5,000 Irish people by AA Travel Insurance shows that men were slightly more likely than women to have experienced a forgotten passport nightmare, with almost 16pc of men leaving their passport behind compared to almost 10pc of women.

The survey also found that more than one in 10 Irish people have either lost or had their passport stolen at some stage in their lives. A similar number of respondents admitted that they had misplaced their travel documents on at least one occasion. Women are more likely to have lost their passport or had the document stolen - 13pc of women compared to 8pc of men.

No sooner has Bobby Kerr packed in his role at Insomnia to focus on his gigs at Newstalk than a new coffee brand and café pops up. Handprint Coffee is based at Freshii's new outlet in Dublin's Point Square, beside the 3Arena. It's a joint partnership between the Bell Lane coffee roastery and Freshii franchise owners Dave O'Donoghue and Cormac Manning. How refreshing to learn that Handprint sustainable coffee is served in compostable cups.

Scottish craft beer Brewdog is living up to its name by offering puppy parental leave for its staff in the UK and US. The 'punk' brewer now allows its near-1,000 workforce a week off when they get a new pup. Staff are also encouraged to bring their mutts to work. Barry & Fitzwilliam now handles Brewdog's distribution rights for Ireland. As they say, "in hops we trust".

Michael Cullen is editor of;

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